BioNTech reached a collaboration deal with Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical over the German biotech firm’s rights in China to an experimental coronavirus vaccine, the latest gambit in a global race, to curb the pandemic.
Once regulators clear the vaccine, Fosun will sell it in China, with BioNTech retaining rights for the rest of the globe, the German group said, adding that it was aiming to begin testing on humans from late April.
BioNTech stated it was in advanced talks with its existing associate Pfizer over the development of the vaccine outside China. The U.S. pharma titan earlier this month identified BioNTech as a worthy partner for the development.
Mainz-based BioNTech, which started in 2008 and listed on the Nasdaq in October 2019, stated it intends to initiate clinical testing for the compound known as BNT162 in Europe, the U.S. and China.
The race is on to build an immunization, which is seen as so far the simplest tool to halt the global spread of the pathogen.
U.S. competitor Moderna, which is functioning with the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NHS), is the closest to human testing, saying plans to begin a trial in Seattle this month.
BioNTech’s unlisted German competitor CureVac plans to be prepared by July to request approval for testing on humans of an experimental vaccine. In contrast, Johnson & Johnson has stated it’s optimistic it could begin vaccine testing later this year.
Indicators of a struggle between national governments over medical kit and rights to therapeutics have already begun to emerge.
The German authorities are attempting to cease the U.S. administration from luring CureVac to move its research to the U.S.